07 Mar '22
Teaching the world to Cybernetics
If you’re the sort of person who lurks on people’s LinkedIn accounts, you may have noticed that I’ve recently become the lead of the Experiences Team at the School of Cybernetics. My team’s mission is:
to take Cybernetics to the world by providing encounters with cybernetics to individuals and organisations who are (currently) not in our Masters/PhD programs.
…and to find ways to do it sustainably.
That might strike you as a pretty broad mission, for a couple of reasons:
- what counts as an encounter? couldn’t that be anything?
- the world is a big and diverse place
…and you’d be right. If you follow the rest of the communications from the School of Cybernetics you’ll know that we’re not shy about painting a grand, totalising vision of how the world can/might work and what part cybernetics has to play in it. And while I’m a bit daunted by the task, I’m also pretty excited.
Here are some of the things my team will be working on over the next weeks/months/years:
site-specific experiences based around specific places; uncovering the cybernetic histories of some of the places we inhabit on the ANU campus and beyond, and creating narrative experiences to share those histories with others
articulating many different answers to the question “what is cybernetics?” for different audiences & mediums (online/in-person, talks/workshops/happenings, prosaic/poetic)
creating a curriculum for interested partners to understand how the key ideas of cybernetics can help them untagle (or at least manage) the complexity in their businesses and other organisations
What I can say is that I want the things we make to be weird. If I ever turn up in a tie and a blue suit and deliver an hours-long bullet-pointed PowerPoint presentation1 on this stuff then you have my permission to point me back to this post and ask me where it all went wrong. Otherwise, I look forward to crossing paths with you and sharing an educational experience about cybernetics.
Don’t get me wrong, PowerPoint (well, visual aids in general) can be super effective as part of a multimedia presentation strategy, but the affordances of the tool are such that it makes it hard to avoid the pitfalls. ↩